Hockey excluded from Pakistan National Games


Islamabad : In a surprise development, the organisers of the Pakistan National Games have excluded the national sport hockey from the premier event kick-starting Dec 25.

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The Games are scheduled in Peshawar, capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province (KPP) in northwest Pakistan.

The Games will be held after almost two years due to security concerns in KPP. But the province was not ready to forego the right to hold the event.

Other than hockey, 15 other disciplines including football, cycling and wrestling have also been excluded from list announced by the organising committee Thursday, Express TV reported.

The exclusion of national game hockey, however, has raised several eyebrows.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Asif Bajwa said the decision is “mind-boggling.”

“Nobody has taken us in confidence. It seems the organisers are not Pakistani because they do not care about the national game,” Bajwa told IANS.

Reacting to the criticism, National Games chief organiser and KPP sports minister Syed Aqil Shah said the PHF has “no business” to comment on the matter.

“These games belong to the Pakistan Olympic Association and only it can decide what to include and what not. The decision to exclude hockey and other games has been taken in proper consultation with the stakeholders,” said Shah.

“The reasons for this change were more because of funding and security constraints. We have assured to provide fool-proof security this time to the participants.”

KPP province has been most affected by terrorism.

The concluding ceremony of the provincial games in Peshawar last year killed two people and injured many others when an explosives laden vehicles exploded at the gate.